Stunning high definition views of Earth’s auroras and dancing lights as seen from space like never before have just been released by NASA in the form of ultra-high definition videos (4K) captured from the International Space Station (ISS).Whether seen from the Earth or space, auroras are endlessly fascinating and appreciated by everyone young and old…
Well, yes. It gets our attention (if we’re paying attention). It reaches everyone. When you look up, you’re seeing the same thing everyone else sees when they look up. A message only a couple of seconds old (how’s that for “real time”?). The moon is the most universal form of social media: current, universal, and free–as long as your connection isn’t obscured by fog or clouds. Tonight’s Super Harvest Blood Moon (a rare total eclipse happening at the same time as the moon’s perigee–or closest point to the earth in its orbit) is a sensational message.
It’s all about perspective; every great (or even good) artist knows that. Art educates. Education is the sending; the learning happens in the receiving: the re-schematization of received information.
Here’s an example of perspective: seeing Michael Collins, one of three members of the Apollo 11 crew, 45 years after his pioneering moon-landing mission, now an elderly gentleman wearing a t-shirt reading “Get your ass to Mars.” The whole image puts everything into a kind of perspective:
That life is short and people age. That those bitten by the space colonization bug never give up on their dream. The image says it all. This is the Art for me; the education.
Collins never set foot on the moon, but instead piloted the Command Module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin each spent around 2-1/2 hours on the lunar surface, collecting moon rocks and leaving oversized space-shoe footprints on the eerie powdery surface. I recall seeing the images as a 9-year-old on my family’s black and white television set. They seemed surreal. It was surreal that these men were on the moon to begin with, and even more surreal that through the miracle of video, these images, almost 300,000 miles away, came to us with only a few seconds’ delay. I remember the slightly asynchronous communication between the ground controllers and the astronauts. I also remember President Richard Nixon congratulating them from Earth for their achievement. I heard this on the radio. I later learned that Collins stayed the Command Module, a kind of orbiting taxi driver, waiting patiently for his fellow space travelers to finish exploring, before shuttling them back to earth.
I’ve been doing research on the Apollo 11 mission, having seen this picture. Collins designed the mission logo: a bald eagle with an olive branch in its talons, hovering over the surface of the moon. I like the significance of the olive branch. It signifies that our spirit of endeavor and exploration can best be served when we work together, as is demonstrated in the cooperative venture of the International Space Station, and the multi-nation partnerships into which NASA is entering in order to continue its engagement with the Great Beyond.
Former Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins. Buzz Aldrin on WhoSay
(a found poem) Cosmologists are digging searching subtle twist polarized gravitational wave the fabric of spacetime the universe will look a little hotter The photons will scatter astronomers to uncover evidence the big bang universe expanded — inflated — by at least a factor of ... a theoretical framework we can’t explain would have driven such a massive expansion born from quantum fluctuations something incredibly fundamental what was happening when the universe was only 10-34 seconds old it’s crucial to remain skeptical distorted by intervening clusters of galaxies
this blue and golden ball
seems from up above,
a Christmas ball of love
with scintillating sparks,
and rainbows in the dark …
If you could see up close,
you’d see the smaller sparks
that mark the death of hopes
and leave a trail of dark…
and every day the ball turns
to face the warming sun,
reminding us to hope and heal
because this is the one:
A mother’s earthen ball of love
with everything we need:
food, and warmth, each other:
we hold paradise’s seed
And if only …
fear didn’t lie,
pride didn’t bleed,
if we could all believe our eyes,
then greed wouldn’t breed,
and if instead of teaching hate,
we taught everyone to read,
we could all ascend to see …
The glittering golden networks
more romantic than Paris
We must love it.
It will spare us.
- NASA JSC Honors the Legacy of Neil Armstrong (spaceref.com)
- NASA selects eight new astronaut trainees (siliconrepublic.com)
- NASA selects its newest space explorers – and half are women (venturebeat.com)
OK, so I was browsing astronaut Chris Hadfield’s YouTube videos, and I came across this one–it’s a fellow ISS crewmember demonstrating advanced yoyo techniques in space… every bit as entertaining as the video referred to in my previous post. Enjoy! (Pay attention at the end for tricks on picking up members of the opposite sex!)
Former Canadian Minister of Defense Paul Hellyer attests that at least four species of extraterrestrials have been visiting earth for thousands of years, and some are living with us in the Nevada desert, kept under wraps by the military, and helping the U.S. government develop zero-point energy and cold fusion. He has a lot to say on the subject of earth-extraterrestrial relations and about how we should manage our own planetary affairs; check out the video above to hear it.
Have you seen the movie Paul (2011)? It’s about an extraterrestrial who has been living in Roswell, New Mexico since his spacecraft crash-landed, and who hitches a ride with two overgrown “kids” attending a ComiCon festival. It’s a really funny film. It may be based on more that pure imagination. Whether you believe what Hellyer says or not, his message about saving the planet (so we can continue to live on it) and working for peace on earth and acceptance of other races (terrestrial or other) makes a lot of sense.
When I see images like this, I am at first struck by their beauty and color. I am simultaneously awed by their magnitude and grandeur. This particular image looks like the universe looking back at us. What do you think?
Click here to see how Sweden is bringing astronomy to the public. They are moving an observatory to a shopping mall in Gothenburg so that everyone can get interested in the study of space. How wonderfully innovative!